Educational Counseling
Background & referencesBackground.html
Workshops & resourcesWorkshops.html
Contact & Locationcontact.html
Coaching & ConsultationCoaching.html
  Mindful Learning Solutions
Educational Counseling

The Environment 
Although serious work goes on ‘behind the scenes’ (in the mind of the learner), the atmosphere during private tutoring sessions is very relaxed, friendly, even silly at times. Establishing a mood and relationship where the student feels respected, safe, and capable, is primary; within such a setting, students feel open to challenges and guidance with no threat to their pride, self-esteem, or individuality. The recognition and support students receive in these sessions not only helps them develop intellectually (in terms of problem-solving skills) and psychologically (in terms of confidence and motivation), but provides a model they can internalize and call upon to help them through challenges on their own.
The Elements of Teaching & Learning
While many students come for help with mathematics, the real teaching and learning at Mindful Learning Solutions involves identifying and strengthening underlying skills that allow students to navigate independently from confusion to clarity. The cognitive tools required to embark, persevere, and complete such a journey are introduced to the student both explicitly and implicitly as we work through specific challenges. Customized to each learner’s needs, the teaching and learning experience strengthens general thinking and problem-solving skills, relating to abstraction, organization, memory, creativity, and sequential processing, and enhances the learner’s sense of motivation, competence, and confidence. 
How is this approach different?
While most teaching and tutoring focuses on the material to be learned, the focus here is on the mind of the individual learner. By working with both school assignments and non-academic cognitive exercises, learners begin to recognize, identify, assess, and enhance their natural cognitive preferences and aversions, habits and blind-spots. Over time, students learn to plan and work their way through challenges with confidence. By becoming familiar and practiced at accessing the full array of resources in their mental  toolbox, students learn to competently navigate from ‘Huh?’ to ‘Aha!’
In order to identify the unique (often subtle) aspects of each individual learner’s preferences, habits, and challenges, we start with an initial two-hour orientation session. Parents (of minors) attend the first hour, during which time we talk casually about learning, motivation, communication, frustrations, etc. Getting the parent’s and the student’s perspective provides both with a deeper insight into the other’s impressions of the situation, of what each one thinks is ‘working’ and what isn’t. This hour also gives everyone a good sense of my teaching style and philosophy. The second half of the orientation session (without the parents) is focused on puzzles, games, and inventories which allow me to get a sense of specific cognitive elements (such as processing speed, working memory, attention, etc.) as well as psychological aspects (such as level of confidence, determination, inventiveness, etc.) This informal assessment allows me to begin our work with the insights needed to highlight the strengths and address the weaknesses of each student individually, and to develop a customized approach that honors and enhances each learner’s uniqueness.
Follow-up Assessments 
Follow-up assessment sessions focus on identifying more specific strengths and challenges, utilizing a variety of puzzles, games, and discussion with the student. Suggestions are provided to both student and parent about ways to transform and improve homework, test-taking, study-skills, etc. These are individualized for each learner.
Private Tutoring & Educational Counseling 
While the majority of students are referred for help with mathematics (at all levels), the focus of private sessions is as much on general problem-solving and thinking skills as on the specific topics. Other topics can also be addressed, including science and foreign languages. General study skills can also be focused on, including organization, time-management, research techniques, etc. Most students come once a week, though some come more often. Sessions take place at the Mindful Learning Solutions studio.
SAT and ACT test prep
Doing well on the math sections of both the SAT and ACT involves learning particular problem-solving strategies that can be applied to multiple choice tests. These are quite different from the strategies most students learn in open-ended problem-solving situations. In addition to reviewing (or comprehending for the first time) some essential fundamental concepts and procedures, students who come for SAT and ACT test prep will learn when and how to apply these multiple-choice (deductive) strategies.  
Live on-line tutoring
For students who cannot come to sessions at the studio, or who live out of town, on-line sessions are available. With minimal technical requirements (a computer with a built in microphone, an audio output jack, and a headset), we can hear each other, see each other (optional), share documents, images, presentations, use a shared whiteboard where we can work through problems, use graphs, etc. We can also take notes and include graphics, which we can save or print for future shared use.
Recorded tutorials
A variety of recorded tutorials will be available soon. Each will focus on an individual math topic from several perspectives: Context, Application, Method, and Meaning. The approach of each tutorial will demonstrate and model (explicitly and implicitly) ways of working through problems by incorporating both a broad perspective on the topic and a sequential and deductive process that can lead a learner from confusion to clarity. Topics will include working with fractions, proportions, negative and positive number operations, solving algebraic equations, graphing, making sense of quadratics, etc.
Rates vary for each of the following services. Please email for a link to current fee and rate scale.

Orientation & Assessment: 
    An initial 2 hour session, with parents and student (see description above). 
Follow-up assessments and recommendations: 
    Further cognitive and academic evaluations, as needed. Specific suggestions for remediations are provided. 
P.C.L.C. (Parent Child Learning Consultations): 
    These are included in the above sessions, or can be scheduled separately from the student sessions. 
Individual academic tutoring sessions: 
    45 minutes sessions. These are available to students who have gone through the orientation and as many of 
    the follow-up sessions as needed (varies from student to student).
L.E.A.P.S. (Laboratory for Engaged Academic Problem Solving, for middle and high schoolers): 
     For students who have worked with me individually in the past and are ready for more independent work, 
     peer collaboration, and intermittent individual guidance. Six-week group series, 90 minute sessions. 
Customized and archived videos
     For students who have worked with me individually in the past, videos can be made to order to cover  
     specific problems and topics. Archived videos can also be accessed through subscription or purchase. All 
     archived videos are available to current students. 
A glimpse of possibilities
Check out the list of topics described under the Workshops & resources link, to see some of the topics, tools and approaches that can be incorporated into individual sessions. 
For comments from parents and students, click on BACKGROUND & REFERENCES.Workshops.htmlBackground.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1